Excepting the county seat, this is the oldest laid out town in the county, having been surveyed and platted previous to 1851. It was surveyed by Franklin Oliver for David Boyle and Caleb Mathis, from the southeast quarter of Section 15. Scarcely a prettier location for a town could be found in the whole county as this. The ground is high and dry; and being on the bank of a fine little stream of water, good drainage is rendered easy.
The first house built in the village was put up by L.S. Latham. Dr. Follet built an office near the same time.
The parties who laid out the town were also interested in its business and its early improvement; and David Boyle, who was one of the proprietors and Jeremiah Mathis, brother of Caleb Mathis, built the first store house. Mathis also built a hotel and was the conductor of the same. About this time the coal mines in this vicinity were being developed; and people from all section of the country, within fifty miles, came here for coal. Being unable to make the trip in one day, and sometimes having to await their turn, necessitated hotel accommodations. So extensive did this business become in a few years that three hotels were at one time in successful operation. Those times have all passed; and the weary traveler must continue on a few more miles. Dr. J. Hill came in soon after the town was established, and built a residence and opened an office.
C. R. Kyser, who had been living in the township, came to the village and built a blacksmith shop, and carried on the trade.
Bussard, in partnership with William B. Lyon, opened up a store a short time
after. They afterward dissolved, and each carried on the business
independently, thus making at one time three flourishing general stores. Before
the establishment of
Wm. Le Baron, Jr. & Co
Reading Business Directory 1898
H. Defenbaugh, Grain
Oscar Stevenson, General Merchandise and Postmaster
C. A. Timmons, Railroad and Express Agent